Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ohana Waikiki West – Buyer Beware

Now is a great time to head to Hawaii and take advantage of some of the many travel deals available. I did this during Thanksgiving last year – in addition to the cheap flight, we thought we were getting a good deal on a hotel too. We stayed at the Ohana Waikiki West on Kuhio Ave, at a rate of US$79 per night, plus tax. While this sounds like a steal, let’s just say if I had paid any more than this for the room and service we received, I would have been very upset.

The Ohana Waikiki West is part of the Ohana Hotels chain, and it has some great features, like location, pool with a great sun deck, and Hawaiian hospitality. However, when I’m on vacation, I mainly use my room for sleep, showering, and catching up on the daily news. In terms of the bed, I haven’t had such a bad night’s sleep in a long time. The mattress was hard, the pillows old, and the sheets were so thin and with no comforter (only a thin quilt cover), it made for a restless night. While the shower had great water pressure, I wasn’t able to have a hot shower the entire stay. As for the TV - if the remote had worked properly, that would have been really helpful. And if that wasn’t enough, the batteries went flat in the electronic lock on our door, keeping us locked out of our room for a period of time while we waited for the maintenance team to come and repair it. Let’s just say, I have had better hotel stays in Hawaii.

My point to this story is while there are many great advertised specials at a number of Hawaiian hotels – be sure to do your research. Read reviews from other travel websites, and pay attention to the less than complimentary reviews from other travelers, in order to gain good perspective before you book. There are many hotels to choose from especially in Waikiki, so you shouldn’t have to settle for anything sub-standard. Don’t be fooled by the low prices – in my opinion, many Waikiki hotels have dropped their rates to a fair price for what they are offering.

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